How will your career progress in the following years? What will happen to the industry and company you work in as time goes on? While we can’t possibly predict the future, we know that we live in turbulent, rapidly changing times. If your knowledge or experience ever falls short in such an environment, your career can be at serious risk of failure.
Fortunately, there are a number of ways you can prepare your career for the future to ensure success, and here are just some of the most effective career development methods:
Enhance your digital literacy
In the modern world, digital literacy is key to professional development and success. Simply having access to the newest technologies is no longer enough – you have to keep up with the rapidly evolving developments and know how to leverage them in the most efficient way. From document creation and image/video editing to the use of specialized industry software, you have to familiarize yourself with all the tools that are relevant to your career. Expand your knowledge of these software solutions, invest in continuous practice, and think of it as a lifelong learning process. Staying on top of technological changes can lead to great career advancement opportunities in the years to come.
Explore your creativity
Creativity and innovation aren’t only reserved for conventionally artistic careers. In fact, these competencies are becoming increasingly important across all industries, leading to higher productivity, greater efficiency, and better overall results. As such, creative thinking skills can be quite beneficial in terms of future-proofing your career. Attempt to enhance them through small lifestyle changes and a few quick exercises. For instance, you can try to have an open mind, approach more things with curiosity, immerse yourself in different cultures, consume a wide array of content, brainstorm new ideas regularly, discuss various topics with your colleagues, etc. The more you focus on innovation, the better your career opportunities will be.
Develop the right skillset
Continuous growth and development are necessary for achieving success in any professional space. Deeper knowledge and unique competencies will allow you to land better roles, while also helping you demonstrate devotion to your career. Focus on developing the right skillset you can carry with you as your career advances. If you’re in the craft industry, for instance, consider a cabinetmaking apprenticeship that will enable you to learn more about natural materials and how to design and build high-quality furniture. For those in the tech sector, on the other hand, learning a new programming language can be of great help. Regardless of your industry, developing critical skills will be important for employability.
Expand your network
Make an effort to make new connections and build strong relationships with professionals within and outside your industry. A great professional network can be an invaluable resource when preparing your career for the future. The right contacts can provide support throughout this journey, bring you with them when the work landscape changes, and offer new career opportunities whenever your role looks uncertain. You might also get the advantage of developing your skills and learning new strategies to advance your career. In order to build a solid network, consider exploring employee resource groups, joining professional associations, attending industry-relevant events, and even establishing a good personal brand online.
Keep your career path open
Review your career progression opportunities and try to be proactive when it comes to responding to a lack of options, even if you have to change your job or career. You might be lucky enough to work for a company with a defined and appealing career path, but this isn’t the case for most employees, unfortunately. This can potentially turn into a big problem, leading to professional stagnation and job uncertainty. This is especially true for declining and slow-growing industries that lack new career opportunities. Keeping your career path open and clear is the best course of action, including planning for the future, taking initiative, and reaching your professional goals.
Aim to be more resilient
Another ability you should develop is overcoming turbulence and disappointments. The future of your career isn’t always certain, and there’s a good chance you’ll encounter setbacks along the way no matter how well you prepare. In order to be successful, you have to be resilient as well. You need to learn how to work with more purpose, bounce back from any setbacks quickly, and view your mistakes as great learning experiences. Develop your resilience by building a strong personal support network and prioritizing your health and well-being. Assess and affirm your strengths frequently, and learn how to deal with change in an effort to stay positive and flexible as the future unfolds.
The future is unknown, likely bringing both positive opportunities and unwelcome disruptions with it. While we can’t predict what’s to come, you can take some steps today to prepare your career for the future and look to the horizon with more excitement.